Ford Vehicles Will Read Your Text Messages While You Drive
Just when you think that Siri [the voice-activated personal assistant on the iPhone 4S] has amazed you enough for the year, Ford has introduced their voice-activated technology, Sync. Sync is intended to reduce texting while driving and is already installed on all model 2012 Ford vehicles with the exception of the Ranger.
"How does it work?" you ask. Using a Bluetooth connection, it syncs with the phone and alerts it's user when they receive text messages. It reads them aloud and allows users to respond with a selection of pre-written messages without taking your hands off the wheel.
Sync is available today [Tuesday, October 1, 2011] as an upgrade to Sync vehicles that are model 2010 or later. In order to install the capability, owners can download the upgrade from the Ford Sync site onto a USB drive along with print-out instructions. Older Ford vehicles that have Sync will soon be able to make the update as well.
There is no question that texting while driving is extremely dangerous and there are currently 34 states that ban text messaging for all drivers.
In 2009, nearly 5,500 people died and half a million were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data. Distraction-related fatalities represented 16 percent of traffic fatalities in 2009, the agency said. It's unclear how many of those fatalities can be blamed on texting.
Think of it this way... If you look down to text for just a few seconds at 55 miles per hour, your car travels the length of a football field while you're not looking at the road.